SPELLMAN LAW, P.C.
Based In West Des Moines, Iowa, Practicing In Central
Iowa And Throughout The State Of Iowa

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Iowa refusal to submit to chemical testing law

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving |

All states have a specific approach to processing impaired driving cases through the court system. With one exception, which is Utah, they are uniform regarding the .08 blood alcohol concentration standard, but they differ somewhat when it comes to punishment and extended penalties that include fines, alcoholic driver education, and driving privilege suspension. These cases have become even more complicated in some instances because Iowa is one of the states that has implemented an implied consent law directly aimed at those who are were suspected of driving under the influence of substances other than alcohol and refused a blood test.

Implied consent in Iowa

All drivers in Iowa understand the implied consent law regarding reasonable suspicion for OWI/DUI. It applies from the time they actually apply for a driver’s license. Those who fail a field sobriety test must submit to a Breathalyzer or have their license suspended immediately. However, those who do not smell of alcohol and have no suspected BAC level can still have their license suspended if they refuse a blood test at the officer’s request.

Temporary license and the IID

Prosecuting an impaired driving charge in Iowa typically requires evidence beyond officer testimony for a conviction. Absent any alcohol use evidence for reasonable suspicion, officers cannot demand a blood test without a warrant. However, the current law does allow an officer to suspend driving privileges for the suspect with the state issuing a temporary license until the case is adjudicated if the defendant installs an ignition interlock device in all vehicles they could potentially drive after the act.

This is assuredly a problem for many in the state who are under doctor prescription or use marijuana. Substances other than alcohol can remain dormant in the system for up to 30 days, and a positive test result can be returned even when they are sober.

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Sean P. Spellman
Mary K. “Molly” Spellman